I just have to rant for a minute.
Idiots like Bill Simmons and Jay Mohr are why this basketball fan writes a blog for his local WNBA team. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, gentlemen, and here is mine.
I am a HUGE NBA fan. I think half the players (if not more) are idiot goons who wouldn't have a chance in hell at holding down a job in the REAL world if they didn't have amazing athletic gifts that led wealthy owners into throwing money at them to further reinforce their lack of ethics, responsibility or desire to be a better person. That said, I love the game of basketball and I sit (or stand and scream until my throat is raw) in awe when I see hard working, talented players do things that ordinary mortals cannot dream of doing.
I have been an NBA ticket package or season ticket holder ever since I earned enough money doing my job in the REAL world to be able to afford to do so. I have been watching them on TV since Bird and Magic were battling it out in Boston Garden and nobody had any idea they might want to be like Mike. I have thrown my hard earned money into the league's coffers in various seasons to feed my basketball addiction for NBA League Pass and for NBA Audio League Pass. I have played in as many as four NBA fantasy leagues simultaneously to the point where I forget which players are on my team in any the leagues. I scour the net daily for new articles on the league, watch summer league games, USA Basketball in Puerto Rico and Indianapolis, watch SportsCenter and NBA TV.com just for updates, often on games I already watched or attended. Hell, I record the games I go to see live so I can watch them when I get home! During basketball season I seldom get to bed before 1am, because I have to watch all the games I recorded on my DVR while I was spending quality time with my family. I post regularly in season and out of season on one or more NBA focused discussion boards. I write emails to journalists when I think they write an article that is actually interesting or different. I spend money on season preview issues from ESPN, Slam, The Sporting News and others. I probably play at least 5-7 hours of NBA Live every day on my PS2, and have been doing so since NBA Live 1999. I even have NBA Street 2 (which I almost never play). I actually look for the updated rosters for download as soon as a trade is made. I am sitting around now checking the EA Sports web site every week to see if they have announced the release date for NBA Live 2006.
I am not a "casual" NBA fan. I am a fanatic, the kind of fan that lets the league not only suck up my hard earned cash, but attracts the corporate sponsorships and advertising revenue that really fills their pockets.
I also love the WNBA. I don't love it in the same way, or for the same reasons. For these guys to say that is "unwatchable" or that it is comparable to "a good intramural game at a Division 2 college, only if nobody could jump or dunk" is just plain ignorant. Frankly I think baseball is a slow, plodding sport that I could barely watch even when the Mariners were closing in on 116 wins a few years ago. I cannot even DREAM of watching a baseball game on TV or ever listening on the radio. I actually enjoy football if I can fast forward to watch only the few seconds the ball is in play. I fall asleep playing golf, so forget about actually watching someone else play the game. I will watch maybe one tennis match every couple of years, and I am glad the Olympics are only once every four years since, other than basketball (women's AND men's) I watch maybe an hours worth of events, unless my wife gives me the whole patriotism spiel and I watch an extra 20 minutes one night.
No one tells me I have to watch it. I have to sit through all the annoying "lesser" sport highlights when I watch SportsCenter. I actually tolerate this. I realize that my severe basketball addiction doesn't leave room for other sports. I realize that there are fans for these other sports. I don't waste my energy writing about how annoying it is that I have to see their ads or fast forward through their highlights.
Mohr actually rants for two pages on a sport he has only been to see one time. Dude, you are a moron. That is like me writing about the quality and value of reality TV shows based on the one episode I watched of Survivor in its first season on the air. Earn your paycheck writing about something you actually have knowledge of rather than entertaining a handful of moronic readers by making fun of something that just isn't your speed.
At least Simmons seems to possess some knowledge of the subject he chooses to write about. However, what the hell are you whining about? You are upset that Stern wants to expand his revenue potential by tapping a market in which he sees some potential? Come on, I think Stern knows a little more about how to run his business than you do. The league has flourished under his leadership, and he has always taken a slow and methodical approach to capitalizing on future trends. His investment in the "internationalization" of the NBA is just starting to pay dividends, not only in the international talent in the league, but in the revenue potential overseas for the people in the business of basketball. He has made strategic investments overtime that are opening up new revenue streams. He is doing the same thing for women's basketball. There is an international market for corporate sponsorship that funds women's teams overseas. Title IX has opened opportunities for women atheletes that are really starting to gain attention now even 35 years later. Men's basketball was played below the rim and with much less athleticsim when it started. I believe that the WNBA is actually further along at this 9th year of its life than the NBA was in its 9th year of life. Why should you care that Stern and the NBA are eating the losses as the build the league? It is their money, and I doubt that Stern is doing it out of the goodness of his heart. The man sees money in it down the road, and he wants to be the one to reap the most benefits when it is available.
Good for him.
By the way...this NBA fan didn't make it to see the Seattle Reign play when they were the pro women's hoop team in Seattle, but as a Sonic fan, I did decide to catch a Storm game. It wasn't a great game. There was this blonde kid from Australia that seemed interesting. and the crowd was into it, even though the home team was pretty bad, so I saw a couple of more games, too. The next year they got a champion point guard out of Connecticut, so I decided to see a few more games, and they were actually quite good. I ended up catching most of the season. That growth continued until now I almost as big a fanatic about this league as I am about the NBA. I am even more of a fanatic about my home team...as much as I am about my home team for the NBA. The NBA's marketing of the WNBA doesn't work for you? So what? The Christina Aguileira and Pink ads from the past two years didn't really float my boat for the NBA either. All articles like yours do are keep a handful of potential fans from taking in a game that just might hook them...or might not.
Why don't you earn your paycheck writing about something you actually care about and to which you can contribute interesting ideas and insights rather than spending your energy complaining about something that you won't remember you wrote about next week?
Ok, I'm done...I have some stats to look at.